Arts & Culture

New Web Series Celebrates Poutine, Lactaid, and Jewish Angst—in Yiddish

It’s Yom Kippur. Let’s eat. Read More

By / October 8, 2014

What’s an apikores to do on Yom Kippur? If you were an anarchist in London, New York, or Warsaw in the early 20th century, there’s a good chance you would have attended a Yom Kippur ball for the express purpose of eating, drinking, and thumbing your nose at tradition and the religious establishment.

The creators of the new comedy series YidLife Crisis have captured that heretical spirit, added a dash of irony and Yiddish profanity, and served it up for free online—with a side of poutine.

YidLife is the brainchild of Canadian comics Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, who play Leizer and Chaimie, respectively. The web series follows the two thirty-somethings as they contemplate the modern Jewish condition against the backdrop of Montreal’s iconic restaurants. The best part? YidLife’s dialogue is spoken almost entirely in Yiddish.

In “Breaking the Fast,” the first episode of the series, Chaimie tries to persuade Leizer to ditch the whole Yom Kippur thing and indulge in some poutine, which, for the uninitiated, consists of French fries slathered in cheese curds and meat-based gravy—essentially a very delicious, very treyf heart attack in a bowl. Leizer doesn’t need much in the way of convincing, though he makes sure to keep his cheese curds and gravy separate. As Leizer himself puts it (in Yiddish), “If I have to break the fast, fine, but I will not mix milk and meat!”

Watch  “Breaking the Fast” below, and stay tuned for an interview with Batalion and Elman!

Related: Jews, Proselytizing, and Comedy Collide in ‘Jewvangelist’